When I read Mitch Moxley's 'Welcome to Vancouver: 'No Fun City' I was pretty upset that an occasional visitor decided to really attack the place I live and love.
Sure, I've heard plenty of people use that phrase and discuss some of the shortcomings that there are here in Vancouver. I feel the need to answer his musing that Vancouver is '... a black hole of boring?"
I guess it's a question of working out what is fun for each of us and address this opinion. My friends and I find this city to be a lot of fun so let's look at the evidence.
For those that love the outdoors there is so much. The North Shore is a mountain biker's dream. It is also home to three ski hills and you can ride them until 11 p.m. at night, every night, during ski season.
There are also countless hiking trails and some pretty decent post-activity restaurants and bars. In addition there are also many beaches to fit many people - Third Beach for the hip, young crowd, Wreck Beach for the more liberal, Kits Beach for the people that want to be seen and so many more.
Kits Beach was even named in the Top 10 Sexiest Beaches in North America. The city is also pretty friendly, these days, for biking and there are so many more things for the outdoors enthusiast too. There is even a 'Bike Rave' in the summer where hundreds of people create a rolling musical evening.
For those that love food, drinking and dining with friends there are so many areas to frequent, such as Chinatown, Mount Pleasant, Yaletown, Kitsilano, Granville Island. There are so many different kinds of food. Mitch, have you ever used Yelp! or checked out the local foodie bloggers to find great places to go.
Even if you go alone you can be guaranteed an amazing meal and are most likely going to meet some great people too. There are also food festivals including the Vancouver Food Cart Festival, Hopscotch , Dine Out Vancouver -- and others. You can eat out every night of the week all year and not return to the same place (although you will because some are just great).
Ok, here is the contentious point -- clubs and bars. The B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) regulates liquor service in bars and restaurants, private liquor stores, liquor manufacturers and importers, Ubrews and UVins (for personal liquor manufacturing), and liquor service at special occasion events. Agreed that it can really restrict the fun that we can have, however we need to take it upon ourselves to ensure that we create fun wherever we go.
This is where you need to do work. Get to know the people who work in great bars around Vancouver (try Gastown, Mount Pleasant and Chinatown as a start) and then you will find out how much fun there really is. You may even find the after-hours places and secret clubs that are just so legendary. Also, check the local papers for bands that play in so many places. The biggest and best come to Vancouver and truly love it. Use meetups, dating sites, social groups, teams and whatever to tap into the local scene and meet people. It's easy really with a little effort and a will to be sociable.
This article just scratches the surface of what there is to offer and there are so many community activities happening that I cannot describe in this short article. I'm bored in hearing the 'No Fun City' moniker. In fact I think that Vancouver is 'More Fun City' and so do many people here.
Post what you feel makes Vancouver a 'more fun city' in the comments and share with your friends, family and colleagues and let's show the world the true side to Vancouver.